SCRANTON, PA, (June 4, 2016) — Penn Foster, Inc., a leader in career-focused online and blended learning certificate, diploma, and degree programs, today welcomed recent high school, career school, and college graduates to an in-person graduation to their Scranton headquarters. The event honored Penn Foster’s annual 35,000 graduates by recognizing and celebrating their momentous achievement of graduating from their Penn Foster programs.
The ceremony marked Penn Foster’s largest event ever with 92 graduates, 400 guests and over 50 Penn Foster faculty and staff volunteers. Graduates represented a diverse array of career-focused programs, Veterinary Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Wedding Planner, and Auto Repair. Graduates from Mississippi, Kentucky, Guyana and even Russia were in attendance, and thousands of graduates and students tuned in to watch the live broadcast over Facebook Live, Livestream, and Penn Foster’s very own Snapchat story.
Based on recent survey data, 93% of Penn Foster graduates were satisfied with their program, 92% of students who took licensing or certification exams passed their examinations,¹ and 90% said that they are confident they made the right decision to invest in a Penn Foster education.²
The day kicked off with a career-focused expo of booths and workshops geared toward cover letter and resume writing, interview preparation, and job readiness. Graduates were able to meet their instructors in person and connect with other graduates from their programs. Attendees had fun posing with family and friends in the photobooth, hashtagging #PFPROUD on social media, and had the chance to have their headshot or family portrait taken by a professional photographer.
Eager to share their stories and recommend Penn Foster’s programs to prospective students, graduates had the option to get behind the camera to talk about their Penn Foster student experience. “I was really unsure of my capabilities and my skills until I started at Penn Foster,” said Caitlin Louden, emergency critical care veterinary assistant and graduate from the Veterinary Assistant career diploma program at Penn Foster. “It really made me more confident in my own skills that I applied for this position that I have now and I absolutely love it.”
During the official graduation ceremony, graduates heard remarks from Dr. James Hurrell, Director of Penn Foster’s Veterinary Academy; Mark Slayton, Senior VP of Customer Service Management; and Elizabeth Exline, Penn Foster Veterinary Technician alumna from 2015, and recipient of the 2016 DEAC Outstanding Graduate of the Year award.
Frank Britt, President and CEO of Penn Foster, then spoke of the graduates’ extraordinary potential. “The thing about Penn Foster graduates is that they have something that not everybody else has, which is grit and resilience - and you’ve all shown that as you’ve gotten to where you are today,” said Britt.
“Some of you are great writers, some of you are great with helping people, some of you have wonderful technical, organizational, or hands-on skills; you all have a gift. If you take the idea that you’re living your own story, and if you think about Penn Foster and its very own small way that it’s helped build a bridge to the place you’re going, you can build a story that you can be proud of, and a story that will allow you to finally unlock the truest gift you have.”
About Penn Foster
Students, employers and partner organizations rely on Penn Foster to build the skills and knowledge to power the 21st century workforce. For over 125 years, Penn Foster has been dedicated to helping people lead more meaningful and productive lives and to improving social outcomes through education. Penn Foster provides career pathways for opportunity youth and adult learners through diverse and affordable online diploma, certificate and degree programs, offered via its high school, career school and college. With more than 30,000 graduates each year, Penn Foster's online and blended learning programs are delivered in a self-paced, competency-based model wrapped by comprehensive academic, professional and personal support and coaching. For more information, visit http://www.pennfoster.edu.
¹ DEAC (2015). [Results from Alumni Survey, 6 months post-graduation]. Unpublished raw data.
² Penn Foster (2016). [Results from Benchmark Survey, current, active students]. Unpublished raw data.